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September 20, 2011 > Third World Independent Film Festival

Third World Independent Film Festival

By Chinmai Raman

In watching movies with chaotic action, wild romance, and raunchy comedy, we may forget the real power of film - to delve into important social issues and bring them to the forefront of public knowledge. The 2011 Third World Independent Film Festival was created for exactly that reason, bringing together filmmakers from every corner of the globe - from Haiti to Iran and Bangladesh to Sudan - and allowing them to screen films that tackle social issues that are most important today.

Third World Independent Film Festival (TWIFF) will run from September 23-25 at the Century 20 Theaters in Milpitas. On September 22, the festival's opening night Red Carpet event at the Dave and Buster's showroom in the Great Mall will be attended by Hollywood professionals, cinephiles and international filmmakers alike. This will be the festival's first year, and the first film festival ever in Milpitas, bringing third world stories of adversity and triumph to totally new audiences; stories like that of an Iranian hip-hop/rap group, which practices in secret in a conservative Iranian society.

The subject matter of some of the films is considered controversial or radical in their home countries, so much so that some filmmakers have had to smuggle their films out of their country, through relatives, to the film festival. "But having to smuggle the film shows their passion," says Iola Klaire, Director of Operations for TWIFF. She explains that the festival features documentaries, but also regular feature films, because occasionally filmmakers have to mask the real issues they wish to depict with a romance or comedy so as not be banned or censored in their nations.

The festival got started with a simple desire to encourage cross cultural interaction, and dialogue between varied filmmakers. Though reaching out for films across the world seemed an extremely daunting task at the outset, it turns out third world filmmakers are always looking for opportunities to publicize their films. Films with a message often have a hard time being successful in their countries because of their subject matter, and TWIFF provides just the opportunity for issues such as water crisis, human trafficking, and poverty to be raised and discussed among the public.

Third World Independent Film Festival's innovative attempt to build awareness for unknown or underrepresented issues is one to be lauded. It is not only insightful of third world countries, but equally of first world countries that due to recent economic downturns are facing difficult social challenges as well. The festival provides a call to action along with great entertainment. Through its unique approach to films, TWIFF hopes to bring about a whole new age of cinema, where audiences see foreign cultures they have never seen before, and films see foreign audiences that they have never seen before.

Tickets are $10 for a day pass and $25 for a three day pass. To purchase tickets visit

Third World Independent Film Festival

Thursday, September 22 - Red Carpet event
6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Dave and Busters
940 Great Mall Dr., Milpitas
(408) 957-9215

Friday, September 23 to Sunday September 25 - Festival
Century 20 Theaters
1010 Great Mall Dr., Milpitas
Tickets: $10 day pass, $25 three day pass

Film Schedule:
(Subject to change without prior notice)

Friday, Sept. 23
11 a.m. "Mud Missive"
11:30 a.m. "Espera de Un Milagro"
1:12 p.m. "Prophecy and Pollution"
3:20 p.m. "Rapping In Tehran"
4:07 p.m. "Mumbhai Connection"
5:47 p.m. "Dreaming In The Time of Hate"
6:23 p.m. "Modern Day Slaves"
7:23 p.m. "Dilli"
7:58 p.m. "First Grader"
9:51 p.m. "Desert Flower"

Saturday, Sept. 24
11 a.m. "Product of the Philippines"
12:30 p.m. "Lines of Tribe"
2 p.m. "Stepping Into Fire"
3:24 p.m. "The Edge of Joy"
4:07 p.m. "Life of a Hunter"
4:57 p.m. "Gen Silent"
6:18 p.m. "Gaza Shields"
6:36 p.m. "Modern Day Slaves"
7:26 p.m. "Dark Resonance"
8:56 p.m. "Amreeka"

Sunday, Sept. 25
11 a.m. "A Casa da Vo Nevde"
12:20 p.m. "Atero"
1:32 p.m. "Lift Up"
3:22 p.m. "Julia and Joyce"
4:23 p.m. "Gen Silent"
5:44 p.m. "Modern Day Slaves"
6:34 p.m. "Lines of Tribe"
8:04 p.m. "Breaking News Breaking Down"
8:40 p.m. "Odd Numbers"
9:40 p.m. "Desert of Forbidden Art"

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